1. Supreme Court officially allows emergency abortions in Idaho — for now, The ruling, which was prematurely posted by the high court, allows emergency abortions in Idaho to stabilize patients — for now, while litigation continues, By Ann E. Marimow, The Washington Post, June 27, 2024, 10:27 AM
Hospitals in Idaho that receive federal funds must allow emergency abortion care to stabilize patients even though the state strictly bans the procedure, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, one day after the opinion was prematurely posted on its website.
The court’s unsigned decision does not address the substance of the case. Instead, while litigation in the matter continues, the justices temporarily reinstated a lower court ruling that had allowed hospitals to perform emergency abortions without being subject to prosecution under Idaho’s abortion ban.
At issue is the nearly four-decade-old Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act, known as EMTALA, which requires certain hospitals to stabilize or transfer patients needing emergency care.

2. Another 400,000 people left Germany’s Catholic Church last year, but the pace slowed from 2022, Another 400,000 people formally have left the Catholic Church in Germany last year, By Associated Press, June 27, 2024, 8:18 AM
Another 400,000 people formally left the Catholic Church in Germany last year, though the number was down from a record set in 2022 as church leaders struggle to put a long-running scandal over abuse by clergy behind them and tackle calls for reform, official figures showed Thursday.
The German Bishops’ Conference said that 402,694 people left the church in 2023. That was down from 522,821 the previous year, but still the second-highest figure so far. At the same time, 1,559 people joined the church and another 4,127 rejoined — in both cases, broadly similar to the numbers from 2022.
In Germany, people who are formally members of a church pay a so-called church tax that helps finance it in addition to the regular taxes the rest of the population pays. If they register their departure with local authorities, they no longer have to pay that. There are some exemptions for low earners, jobless, retirees, students and others.

3. Abortions to Save Mothers’ Lives Are an Agonizing Call for Doctors, Supreme Court decision on emergency abortion laws in Idaho would likely leave unresolved challenges for physicians nationwide, By Jennifer Calfas and Betsy McKay, The Wall Street Journal, June 27, 2024, 5:30 AM
For two years, doctors in more than a dozen states where abortion is restricted have faced an agonizing calculus. 
When has a pregnant woman’s medical condition deteriorated enough to qualify for an abortion under state law? And at what point might doctors compromise their medical duty to help a patient by not performing an abortion sooner?
“Pick your poison,” said Dr. Sarah Osmundson, a maternal-fetal medicine doctor in Nashville. 
The Supreme Court appears ready to let emergency abortions be performed in Idaho, according to a draft version of a decision the court accidentally posted on its website Wednesday and then quickly removed. The draft opinion dismisses Idaho’s appeal of a lower court order permitting emergency abortions under federal law governing hospitals that accept Medicare, according to Bloomberg News, which earlier reported on the posting.

Some states have tried to clarify these laws through legislation or guidance from health officials. Healthcare systems have created their own guidelines. The result is policies that vary among states, cities and institutions.

4. Charitable donations after inflation fell for second straight year in 2023, By Sean Salai, The Washington Times, June 27, 2024
Americans gave less money to charity in 2023 for the second straight year, reversing years of increases as nagging inflation left small donors feeling pinched.
The nonprofit Giving USA reported this week that philanthropic donations dropped by 2.1% after inflation to $557.16 billion in 2023. The only other times in the past 40 years that inflation-adjusted giving declined year-over-year in the annual report were 1987, 2008, 2009 and 2022.
Donations over the past two years became fewer and larger as individual gifts under $1,000 became rarer, said Wendy McGrady, vice chair of Giving USA. She noted that small donations typically decline in tough economic times.

Adjusted for inflation, international relief gifts fell by 1.6% last year and religious donations fell by 1%, making them the two biggest financial losers. Total giving in different categories ranged from a low of $21.2 billion for the environment and animals to a high of $145.81 for organized religion.

5. A Vatican Radio territory in north Rome once blamed for electro-smog will become a solar farm, Pope Francis has decreed that an area of northern Rome long used by Vatican Radio will now house a field of solar panels to fuel Vatican City, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, June 26, 2024, 10:18 AM
Pope Francis decreed Wednesday that an area of northern Rome, long the source of controversy because of electromagnetic waves emitted by Vatican Radio towers there, will now house a field of solar panels to fuel Vatican City.
Citing the Vatican’s pledge in U.N. climate treaties to curb carbon emissions, Francis tasked a commission of Vatican officials with developing the solar farm at Santa Maria di Galeria. In a decree, he said the solar energy generated would be sufficient to fuel not only the radio operations there but the Vatican City State itself.
The 430-hectare (1,063-acre) Santa Maria di Galeria site, which enjoys extraterritorial status, was inaugurated in 1957 as a base for Vatican Radio. At the time, the pope’s broadcaster transmitted Catholic and Vatican news in dozens of languages around the world via two dozen short- and medium-wave radio antennae crowding the landscape.

6. The Vatican stands trial in London as a British financier seeks to clear his name in a property deal, The Vatican is standing trial in a London court over a property deal, By Nicole Winfield, Associated Press, June 26, 2024, 10:14 PM
The Vatican went on trial in a London court Wednesday, as a British financier sought to recover from the harm he said he suffered to his reputation as a result of a Vatican investigation into its 350 million euro (around $375 million) investment in a London property.
It is believed to be the first time the Holy See has been forced to stand trial in a foreign court.
A Vatican tribunal has already convicted Raffaele Mincione of an embezzlement-related charge, and sentenced him to more than five years in prison, for his role in the London deal. But Mincione, who remains free pending an appeal, lodged a counter civil claim against the Holy See’s secretariat of state at London’s High Court, insisting he acted in good faith.
On Wednesday, he asked the court to approve a series of declarations asserting that he indeed acted in good faith in his dealings with the secretariat of state, that the Holy See knowingly and lawfully entered into the transactions in question and have no grounds to make any claims against Mincione as a result.

7. Biden Officials Pushed to Remove Age Limits for Trans Surgery, Documents Show, Newly released emails from an influential group issuing transgender medical guidelines indicate that U.S. health officials lobbied to remove age minimums for surgery in minors because of concerns over political fallout., By Azeen Ghorayshi, The New York Times, June 25, 2024
Health officials in the Biden administration pressed an international group of medical experts to remove age limits for adolescent surgeries from guidelines for care of transgender minors, according to newly unsealed court documents.
Age minimums, officials feared, could fuel growing political opposition to such treatments.
Email excerpts from members of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health recount how staff for Adm. Rachel Levine, assistant secretary for health at the Department of Health and Human Services and herself a transgender woman, urged them to drop the proposed limits from the group’s guidelines and apparently succeeded.

If and when teenagers should be allowed to undergo transgender treatments and surgeries has become a raging debate within the political world. Opponents say teenagers are too young to make such decisions, but supporters including an array of medical experts posit that young people with gender dysphoria face depression and worsening distress if their issues go unaddressed.
In the United States, setting age limits was controversial from the start.
The draft guidelines, released in late 2021, recommended lowering the age minimums to 14 for hormonal treatments, 15 for mastectomies, 16 for breast augmentation or facial surgeries, and 17 for genital surgeries or hysterectomies.
The proposed age limits were eliminated in the final guidelines outlining standards of care, spurring concerns within the international group and with outside experts as to why the age proposals had vanished.


TCA Media Monitoring provides a snapshot from national newspapers and major Catholic press outlets of coverage regarding significant Catholic Church news and current issues with which the Catholic Church is traditionally or prominently engaged. The opinions and views expressed in the articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Catholic Association.
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